The U.S. military is researching which smartphones will be most useful on the battlefield, and while Apple’s iPhone may be popular, it likely won’t make the cut thanks in part to its overall cost. The military is also concerned about the proprietary technology the iPhone relies on, including the iOS operating system, according to Defense Systems.
Instead, the military will more likely choose a platform that it can more easily adapt to its needs, such as Google’s Android. Officials are also concerned over the cost to build proprietary iPhone apps, which the estimate at US$200 each.
Military interest in smartphone technology extends beyond the iPhone and Android. The Army Apps challenge, for example, received proposals for 17 Android apps, 16 iPhone apps, 10 for ASP.NET, seven for the LAMP open software stack, two BlackBerry apps, and one for the Army Knowledge Online portal. The proposals were submitted by 141 teams, showing theres interest in creating military-specific applications for smartphone devices.
Currently, the Army’s Brigade Combat Team Modernization program is testing iPhones and Android-based devices, but hasn’t yet reached any official conclusions.